By Billy Lewis
Many New York Yankee fans anxiously awaited Wednesday’s Wild Card Game against the A’s. There was a nervous excitement because fans knew the Yankees are good enough to win the World Series, but they needed to win that one game playoff first.
The Yankees came through swimmingly. Luis Severino had a dominant first inning, followed by an Aaron Judge 2-run home run in the bottom of the first and the Yankees rolled. When it was all said and done the Bronx Bombers eliminated the A’s 7-2.
It sets up a series the entire Major League Baseball world can be excited for: Yankees, Red Sox in the American League Championship Division Series. It is the first postseason meeting between these two rivals since the Yankees infamous 2004 ALCS collapse.
Yankees Red Sox Rivalry Renewed
Game 1 is tonight in Boston at 7:32, Game 2 won’t give you much time to rest as first pitch is Saturday Night at 8:15. The excitement heading into the series can quickly fade if one team falls down 2-0 in a span of just over 24 hours. However, this series is expected to be a dogfight.
The Yankees originally acquired J.A. Happ midway through the year to try to catch the Red Sox. In his career against Boston, Happ is 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA. This season he has had four starts against the Red Sox. Most recently beating them on September 28th going six innings allowing four earned runs.
The four earned runs are a bit misleading as Happ was cruising through five shutout innings. Happ was faced to force Steve Pearce with the bases loaded after some sloppy defense in the sixth. Pearce would hit a grand slam but Happ threw much better than his stat line would suggest.
Game 1 will showcase Happ against Boston ace Chris Sale. Sale has faced the Yankees twice this season, allowing only one run in 13 innings. Sale has been battling shoulder inflammation and the Bombers will need to pounce on any early mistakes.
David Price and Masahiro Tanaka will take the hill in Game 2. Preliminary thought would be this matchup favors the Yankees. Tanaka has been lights out in his postseason career. Price, well Price can’t say the same as he is still looking for his first win in a playoff start.
ideally, the Bombers take the first two games in Boston and finish off the sweep Monday in the Bronx. I would look for them to split the series in Boston. Once the Bombers return home, I’d think they take care of business.
Final Prediction: Yankees win series 3-1